Arizona’s Head Coach Reportedly Linked to FBI’s Investigation
Sean Miller was allegedly caught on wiretap discussing $100K payment for Deandre Ayton.
On Friday night, Yahoo Sports published a report featuring documents and bank records that linked former NBA agent Andy Miller and ASM Sports to loans and other impermissible benefits given to more than 25 current and former college basketball players. But then, ESPN put out a report that could have even bigger ramifications. FBI wiretaps reportedly captured a phone call in which Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller talks about paying Wildcats star freshman Deandre Ayton $100,000 to commit to the school. Sources told ESPN that Christian Dawkins, a sports agent runner who is of key focus of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into college basketball recruiting, asked Miller if he should deal with then-Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson regarding a payment for Ayton. The report says that Miller told Dawkins that he would work with him directly to finalize any agreement involving money. Dawkins was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of money-laundering conspiracy in October. According to The Ringer, Ayton was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Class of 2017. He committed to Arizona instead of Kansas and Kentucky in September 2016. At 7-foot-1 and 252-pounds, he led the Wildcats to a 22-6 record behind his average of 19.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. If this report is true, Ayton would be ineligible for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign and would face other punishments. Arizona point guard Allonzo Trier was recently ruled ineligible after testing positive for a banned substance. Miller started at Arizona in 2009.
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